Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Day 1 cracked, but not the rider!

Early morning - low cloud and high winds
The view from our bedroom window this morning was most uninviting! Low cloud and blowing a gale. But Jim was not to be deterred! He disappeared into the mist up the hill towards La Source de La Loire.

 Jim at the start, looking rather anxious

By the time I caught up with him at La Source it was already raining. But he bravely took off his rain jacket to show off his Teenage Cancer Trust cycle jersey. After the foul start to the day, the weather gradually improved and by the time I saw Jim again, in the Gorges de La Loire (me cycling in the opposite direction from the end of the stage) it was warm and sunny. A complete contrast!

 Looking back at the clouds in the Ardèche mountains

 View of the Loire in rather better weather conditions

So day 1 to Retournac has been cracked relatively easily. Far from being cracked, Jim is in great form! All set for the next stage to Renaison tomorrow. The Ferme Equestre Les Revers is a lovely place to stay - comfortable and a beautiful and tranquil location above Retournac. Only downside was the 6km uphill grind to get here from the bridge over the Loire. But definitely worth it!

Here are the stages. If anyone is nearby, come and cheer him on!

Day 1 (Wed 17 Sept):  Gerbier de Jonc to Retournac (done!), staying at Ferme Equestre Les Revers
Day 2 (Thur 18 Sept):  Retournac to Renaison, staying at Hotel le Central
Day 3 (Fri 19 Sept): Renaison to Nevers, staying at Hotel de Clèves
Day 4 (Sat 20 Sept): Nevers to Chavignol (via Pouilly, the half-way point!), staying at Hotel Monts Damnées
Day 5 (Sun 21 Sept): Chavignol to Beaugency, staying at Hotel La Licorne
Day 6 (Mon 22 Sept): Beaugency to Bourgueil, staying at Café de la Promenade
Day 7 (Tues 23 Sept): Bourgueil to Ancenis, staying at Loire-Sejours
Day 8 (Wed 24 Sept): Ancenis to La Baule, staying at Hotel La Cloiserie

See the previous blog to find out how you can support Jim's efforts to raise funds for two cancer charities.

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